I don’t know about you, but some days, I can’t help but think I should be farther along on this walk of faith. I shouldn’t struggle with this or have doubts about that. My life should reflect more of Christ and less of me by now, you know?
I remember discussing this with a very wise (and much older) friend once, and she told me something that helped set me free from some unrealistic expectations.
She said, “When I was your age, I never dreamed I would be like I am today.”
Y’all, she wasn’t saying she was perfect; she was saying she had grown. God had changed her more than she even realized was possible.
But it didn’t happen in a day. It took decades.
Decades of walking with him, studying his word, failing and finding grace.
Then growing in it.
Now, I know people who have come to know the Lord and found their lives changed drastically, instantly. God does work that way, but he also works like a patient potter, molding us little by little in to the shape he sees when he first sets out. After we’re shaped, he polishes and refines us even further.
Every imperfection he finds (and then reveals to us) is an opportunity to become more like him.
To “grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.” (2 Peter 3:18)
What does it mean to “grow in grace”?
In my mind, I see growing in grace as a freedom to flourish, to become what God intends. Grace gives us room to grow, you know? Our roots dig deep, our hearts reach up, and our arms reach out.
Dig Deep into the Truth
First, we dig in deep to the truth of God’s word, which teaches us who He is and who we are in Him. It nourishes us as we grow. It cleanses us, making us holy “by the washing with water through the word.” (Ephesians 5:26)
So we feed on it. Going from the milk of basic truths to the meat of deeper spiritual teachings (Hebrews 5:11-14), growing deeper and more mature all the while.
It’s a work of renewing our minds, growing in understanding, growing up in faith.
Reach Up for Fellowship with the Father
While our roots grow down to anchor us in deep spiritual soil, our hearts reach up to fellowship with the Father. We learn to “pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests.” (Ephesians 6:18)
We guard our hearts with his presence.
With our minds renewed and our hearts guarded, we reach out to others, offering them the grace we have been given.
Reach Out to Others
This reaching out is the way our growth in grace becomes evident to everyone around us. It’s the command Christ gave to “Let your light so shine before men that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven.” (Matthew 5:16)
Y’all, when we grow in grace, God gets glory.
We fulfill his purposes for us by drawing others to him, lifting them up and helping them grow, too.
That’s why I write this blog, you know. I hope you are encouraged in your faith and pointed to your Father. Over the next four weeks, we’ll focus on 4 specific areas of our lives in which we can grow in grace and become more like Christ. I hope you’ll join us. We will focus on: guarding our hearts, taming our tongues, renewing our minds, and presenting our bodies. If you’re looking for blog post ideas, consider writing on those topics and sharing them with us here at Encouraging Word Wednesday in the coming weeks. I’d love to read your thoughts!
I hope you’ll link up with us today. To do so, simply share one or two of your favorite faith-filled posts then visit another blogger and leave an encouraging comment!